We’ve missed a few weeks, but worry not – they all featured Carly Rae Jepsen still at number one, giving her a four week reign. As it happens, this week sees a change at the top anyway. Bring on the generic dance-pop!
1. Tulisa – “Young”.
This is the solo debut for Tulisa Contostavlos of N-Dubz, who have had ten hits in their own right since 2007, and also guested on Tinchy Stryder’s number 1 hit “Number 1″ back in 2009. In fact, the producer of this record is one of the quieter members of N-Dubz, so it’s not all that solo – though the shift to dance music does mark a change from the rap/pop crossover stuff that N-Dubz used to do. Still, it’s arguably more N-Dubz Without The Bloke In The Hat. Which most of us, I think, would applaud as a wise move.
Tulisa was somewhat surprisingly hired as one of the new judges for the last series of X Factor and was generally considered to have done pretty well in the role. At any rate, her launch of a solo career comes as no real surprise. She’s also got a bit of coverage in the tabloids lately for a sex tape; a cynic might observe that the timing is awfully coincidental here, but then again, it’s not like she really needed the publicity. She’s already had a season of primetime ITV.
“Young” was originally going to be called “We Are Young”, but they changed the name to avoid confusion with the Fun single (currently at number 3).
4. Cover Drive – “Sparks”
You remember these guys. They had a number one single with “Twilight” in February, which dropped pretty rapidly after the first week (though in fairness, it still managed two months on the chart). The midweeks show the same thing happening again, with the single dropping to 11 on its second week.
Cover Drive are from the Bahamas but are signed to a UK record label and their actual career is pretty much confined to this country, at least thus far. ”Sparks” is an overproduced but otherwise inoffensive ballad. You’ve heard worse.
May as well mention the new entries from the last couple of weeks that are still climbing. This debuted at 14 three weeks ago and it’s been climbing since. Train have been terribly lucky with the timing of this single. While they’ve had a moderately consistent career in the US, their UK chart record consists of only two hits – “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)”, which reached number 10 in 2001, and “Hey Soul Sister”, which got to 18 in 2010 (though it hung around forever). This single has been reasonably successful internationally, but it can’t hurt that a performance on The Voice UK a few weeks ago has inexplicably brought “Drops of Jupiter” back into the chart for another run – it’s currently at 38 – thus reminding people that Train still exist.
11. Marina & The Diamonds – “Primadonna”
“Marina and the Diamonds” is just Marina Diamandis, and this is her fifth and biggest hit (now in its third week on chart). It’s the lead single from the second album, though the general thrust of melodramatic synth pop seems to be much as I remember from the first time round. It’s a grower, I think.
Interestingly, according to Wikipedia, while her sales are mostly confined to the UK, she also consistently scores top ten hits in Serbia. With this single, she is expanding her audience still further – it has reached number 15 in Lithuania.
21. Rihanna – “Where Have You Been?”
This is the third single from her album “Talk That Talk”, which reached number 61 as an album track download back in December. Now it’s being promoted properly, and it’s got a video. You won’t be surprised, listening to this, to learn that it’s the work of producers including Dr Luke and Calvin Harris. You might be slightly more surprised that it also has a co-writer credit for one Geoff Mack on the grounds that it incorporates chunks of the 1962 Australian novelty country single “I’ve Been Everywhere”. Americans apparently know this from a re-written cover version by Hank Snow which changed the place names to American ones. The British have pretty much never heard of it.
Yes, that’s the title. Not “Out of the Blue.” ”Out the Blue.”
Judging from the midweeks, it’s a one-week wonder dance record. Sub Focus is producer Nick Douwma, and this is actually his second hit; the other was “Rock It/Follow The Light”, which reached 38 in 2009. (Both the follow-up singles peaked at 41, which must have been galling.) Alice Gold is a singer-songwriter more usually found on the indie circuit; she was being tipped by the likes of Q magazine in 2010, but this is her first hit.
This week’s obligatory re-entry for something that was covered on The Voice UK. The original is by Steve Winwood, but the Voice version was clearly based on this, which reached 21 last year when it was used in an advert.
39. Flux Pavilion featuring Example – “Daydreamer”
Flux Pavilion is dub step producer Joshua Steele, though he seems to be migrating into something a bit more radio friendly. The BBC tried to promote him last year when they inexplicably put his single “Bass Cannon” on the Radio 1 A-list; it crashed out at 56. This is his first top 40 hit, though it doesn’t look to be going any further.